Gharibnawaz(R.A) >Necessity of Religion
In this 20th century, new scientific inventions and political theories are causing irreparable deterioration in the religious faith of mankind. Public mind is too much engrossed in these attractions and man is getting away farther and farther from religion and God. The force of the ‘matter’ overwhelmingly dominates the influence of the ‘spirit’. People are being torn away by ideological warfare from their religious moorings and are left to drift astray, creating all sorts of new troubles and miseries in an already much tormented world. The solutions sought through man-made laws, against the time honoured and irrefutable religious laws and traditions give little or no solace to the afflicted mankind. It seems that the world is fast drifting towards religious bankruptcy.
Bonds Of Religion
What is religion? Of all the forces that have been working for the emancipation of mankind ever since its origin, nothing is more potently powerful than the manifestation of those forces which form religion. In spite of all the vicissitudes of time, that peculiar force is still visible in the back ground of all our social, economic and political systems. It has been the greatest cohesive impulse for the unity of mankind. In many cases the bonds of religion have proved stronger than the bonds of climate, race and descent. People of the same family and descent.
Beginning Of Religion
The result of all ancient explorations to trace out the origin of religion shows that it is ‘something’ super-human or supernatural and that its genesis is not in the human brain but it has originated ‘somewhere else’. The theories are advanced about this analysis. One group maintains ancestor worship as the origin of religion, while the other thinks that it originates in the personification of the powers of Nature. A study of the ancient religions of the Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians and some American races reveal traces of ancestor worship as the beginning of religion.
The Egyptians believed in two souls, one of the external body and the other of the internal soul that motivates it. They thought, when a man died, his ‘double’— the internal soul went out but still lived, and it lasted so long as the ‘dead body’ was preserved intact. That is why they preserved their dead and built huge pyramids over them. They thought if the ‘body’ was hurt its double’ would also be injured. This was ancestor worship. The ancient Babylonians believed in the same idea of ‘double’ but with slight variations. They believed that the ‘double’ lost all sense of love; it even frightened the living to give if food and drink and so on. Among the ancient Hindus too, traces of ancestor worship are found. The Chinese were also ancestor worshippers. Thus the theory of ancestor-worship as the beginning of religion is strengthened by one school of thought.
According to the other theory, religion is said to have originated in nature worship as the ancient Aryans maintained. The human mind has always been inquisitive and curious to find out the philosophy behind the sun, the moon, the earth and the heavens, the stars, the hurricane and so many other stupendous forces of nature and its beauties. It has tried to understand these phenomena to which it attributes souls and bodies with something transcended. The result of all investigations culminates in ‘abstractions’ whether personalised or not. The ancient Greeks also followed this ‘nature worship’. Their mythology proves their ‘abstracted nature worship’. The ancient Germans, Scandinavians and other Aryan races also followed the Greeks. All this makes a strong case to show that religion had its origin in the personification of the “powers of Nature”.
A third theory which some of the highly learned people think to be the real origin of `organised’ religion. It is known to be the “struggle” to transcend the limitation of the sense”, whether man seeks to worship the dead spirits of his ancestors or tries to understand the limitations of the senses. And yet he does not seem to be satisfied with this alone but wants to investigate further. His search for the `Truth’ about these phenomena has continued through all ages till he could assert a definite state of things called `ecstasy’ or inspiration which we find in all the `organised’ religions of the world.
All Lead To One Goal
The prophets, the rishis, the saints, and the Sufis, all have discovered these ‘hidden’ facts according to their own experiences and findings. All the principal religions of the world claim that human mind has been able to transcend both the “limits of senses” and” the limits of reason” with this peculiar power of transcending which they put forward as “a statement of Facts”.
Finite And ‘Infinite’
Every human being seems to be struggling for an ‘Infinite power’ or an infinite pleasure, if we may call it so but only a few have realised that this,‘infinite power’ or the infinite pleasure is not to be had through senses which are too limited to understand and explain the ‘Infinite’. As a matter of fact,‘Infinite’cannot be expressed through finite. Sooner or later man is compelled to give up the finite and this state is called ‘renunciation’ which as its root in the ethics, or say, Ethics stand on renunciation..
Philosophy Of Ethics
Ethics always says “Not I, but thou”, “Not Self but Non self” the laws of ethics demand that in the search of “Infinite Power of Pleasure” selfish individualism to which man clings so stubbornly, must be given up altogether. We must hold ourselves first, and all else last.” Ethics say; we must hold ourselves last.
It thus follows that man has to give up the plane of ‘matter’ in his search for the ‘infinite’. All ethical laws enjoin ‘self-abnegation or perfect self-annihilation’ as we have seen. But people are surprised when they are asked to lose their selfish individualism because it is very dear to them and is not an easy thing to be given up. And yet, at the same time, they declare highest ideals of ethics to be right ignorant of the fact that the idea, the goal of all ethics, is self-destruction and not the building up and sustenance of a selfish individualism
Role Of Sufi Saints
Those who have straightened the curly tail of the sinful world from time to time have never been politicians or statesmen. They have always been the founders and reforms of great religions endowed with “supernatural” powers to overcome even the mightiest forces of evil. Their spiritual spark ignited the souls of millions. Such are the superhuman beings we always find in the past history of mankind and shall continue to have them at appropriate periods in future also despite all evolutions and revolutions of the world. There has always been a tussle between spiritualism and materialism or between the spirit and the sword in which the former has always vanquished the latter. While the holy founders and teachers of great religions, acting as apostles of God, tried to establish righteousness and peace on earth, the worshippers of evil have furiously defied them in order to retain their own temporal supremacy. But history repeats itself and the struggle between the two still goes on.
Religion And Human Character
Religion is the greatest motive power for building up a virtuous human character for achieving everything that is good and beneficial to mankind and for bringing peace and happiness to the afflicted souls including one’s own self.
Gharibnawaz(R.A) >His Ethical Sayings Gems of Wisdom
Here are some of the sacred sayings of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin. The intervening period of seven long centuries has not, in any way, affected their ever-lasting efficacy and value.
Essence of Sufism
- The heart of a lover (the true devote of God) constantly burns with the fire of Love so much so that whatever passion intrudes upon its sanctity is burnt to ashes.
- He indeed is a true devotee blessed with the love of God, who is gifted with the following three attributes: river-like charity, i.e his sense of charity has no limits and is equally beneficial to all the creatures of God who approach him, Sun-like affection, i.e. his affection may be extended indiscriminately to all like sunlight and Earth-like hospitality, i.e. His loving embrace may be open to all like that of the earth.
- A sin committed does not harm an individual so much as the looking down with contempt upon one’s own fellow beings.
- The test of a true devotee’s mind is that it is always, and to all intents, strictly obedient to the will of God and is constantly afraid of behaving in a manner which is apt to displease Him resulting in the withdrawal of His grace.
- A seer of the ‘essence of things’ is characteristically mute and meditative.
- He is a hardened sinner who commits sin and yet simultaneously entertains the belief that he is one the God’s ‘chosen few’.
- A Dervish or hermit is one who would never disappoint a needy.
- Patience is tested through resignation to sorrow, sufferings and disaster without a murmur disclosing one’s pains to others.
- The more one learns about the ‘essence of things’ the more he wonders.
- The seer regards Death as a friend, luxury as a enemy and the constant narration or remembrance of God as a glory.
- The best time for the seer of dervish is indicated by the absence of all cares from his mind.
- Knowledge is comprised upto an unfathomable ocean and enlightenment is like a wave in it, then what is the relation of God and man ? While the ocean of knowledge is sustained by God alone, the enlightenment pertains to man.
- ‘Namaaz’ (Islamic prayer) is the ladder leading to the proximity of God Almighty.
- Prosperity departs from the home of one who tells a lie on oath and he is soon ruined.
- The graveyard is the place for picking up a lesson. In such a solemn surrounding, one should not indulge in laughing or burst into laughter or eat or drink or do any other worldly thing.
- Keep handy your equipment for the last journey and think of death as hovering over your head at all times.
- God rains misfortune and misery upon the heads of those whom He loves.
- The best way of evading the fire of hell lies in feeding the hungry, providing water to the thirsty, removing the wants of the needy and befriending the miserable.
- Just as the sunshine increases gradually in the morning so does the Divine Light expands in one who says Ishraaq prayers.
- When the Aarif meditates over a thing, he attains a state of absorption in which even if thousands of angels assuming wonderful forms try to attract him, he would remain entirely undisturbed for the time being.
- There is impurity below every human hair, hence water must touch and reach the root of every hair. If a single hair shall remain dirty, purification is not complete and is impaired.
- Human Perspiration is not impure (Hadith).
- Offer your repentance quickly before death arrives and hurry up to perform the Namaaz before its final hour passes.
- It is incumbent on the followers of the path of ‘Tariqat’ (the path leading to Divinity) that he must first divorce or renounce the physical world, and then the second world thereafter and ultimately his own ‘self’ (Nafs) when alone he can pursue his right path, failing which he should abandon the enterprise of Sufism.
- For a follower of the path of Truth, it is worse than a sin to disdain or look down upon any one.
- When the Aarif becomes silent it means that he is talking to God, and when he closes his eyes it means that he his knocking at God’s door
- The path of Love (of God) is such a path that whoever stepped into it, he lost himself.
- Those devoted to the path of the ‘knowledge of God’s realisation’ (Irfaan ) have nothing to speak of except God.
- Severance of connection with wealth and property is one of the inferior achievements of an Aarif.
- Those who are true lovers of God, give away both of the worlds for the sake of their ‘beloved’ and even then they feel that they have done nothing whatever.
- Verily he is an Aarif who is clothed with three qualities-firstly, piety; secondly, conduct eliciting respect, and thirdly, modesty.
- Love of God transcends and is above all passion for others.
- Perfection of Faith is evidenced by three things – Fear, Hope and Love.
- Death is a bridge which expands the passage for a lover to reach his beloved (God).
- True Friendship or love (of God) lies in maintaining His constant recollection in heart and not in expression by speech.
- The heart was essentially created for making rounds of the love of God.
Gharibnawaz(R.A) >Sama’ (Qawwali)
Origin And Conception
The root of the word Qawwali is Qa’ol which is an Arabic word meaning an axiom or dictum based upon the religious subjects which help purification of thoughts. From the word Qawwali we also get another word Qawwali which means a musician or singer who sings the hymns or praises of God and dictums of the prophets, saints and other holy personages in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and even Hindustani composed by reputed Sufi saints and poets. These Qawwali concerts are magnetic in nature and touch the delicate cord of human heart which, being ethereal, is the main centre of spiritual awakening in man. The Khawaja Sahib not only introduced but also patronised these concerts to capture and mould the hearts of his audience for accepting the Divine Message gracefully.
Music has always played a prominent part in the religious and social life of India from time immemorial and therefore singing or recital of the devotional songs called bhajans etc. has been one of the important ceremonials at Hindu temples and religious congregations. The Khawaja Sahib was the inventor of the fascinating blending of sweet songs in Sufistic style preaching the gospel of Truth. This medium suited Indian culture, temperament, customs and traditions most admirably with the result that his Sama or Qawwali mahfils (congregations) became very popular with good results and they continue to be so even to this day.
Language Of Qawwali
While the devotional songs offered at Hindu shrine are composed in Sanskrit, Hindi or other regional languages of India, the compositions sung at the Qawwali mahfils are generally a choice selection of inspiring religious poetry in Persian by various reputed Sufi poets and dervishes. To soften and capture a human heart, possessing even the slightest spark of piety and devotion, the appeal of such Qawwali concerts has been amazingly irresistible. They have sort of hypnotic influence upon spiritual-minded audience inspiring a kind of uncontrollable jazba (intense feeling) culminating in wajd or ecstasy.
Qualification of a Qawwal
A perfect Qawwal is one who is the master of classical Indian music gifted with a sweet and fascinating voice on the one hand, and is thoroughly conversant with the variety of selective poetical compositions on Sufism by distinguished Persian, Urdu and Hindi poets on the other. In addition to many years’ hard practice consistent with the varied knowledge of the said poetry, a really good Qawwal still needs the “spiritual blessings” of any great Sufi saint for his ultimate perfection and general recognition. There are many instances of excellent Qawwals who have risen to frame and fortune under the blessings of one or the other Sufi saint in India